Get a load of the traveling party Governor Jerry Brown took on his three-day jaunt to Mexico: more than 100 state government, business, economic development, investment and policy leaders, exactly the crowd you’d expect from a Chamber of Commerce-organized event. Also along for the ride was Mrs. Brown, and the five Mexican consular officers assigned to Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and San Jose. For reasons not specified, the other five Mexican consular officers weren’t included in the entourage.
U.S. Marine Andrew Tahmooressi
Despite Mexico’s enabling role in the Central American invasion, Brown spent his time glad-handing with President Enrique Peña Nieto. The alien surge into California, as well as other states, doesn’t bother Brown. The governor pledged to “support additional shelters to deal with this particular immediate challenge we have.”
Brown and Peña Nieto exchanged happy talk about the political and social links that bind Mexico and California. And Peña Nieto thanked Brown for all his actions on behalf of California’s Mexican community, a reference to the Trust Act, alien driver’s licenses and the law Brown signed last year that allows illegal immigrants to become lawyers.
Brown should have asked for a favor in return: the release of Marine Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi who has languished in a Mexican jail for more than four months. Tahmooressi’s defense lawyer argues that during his arrest Mexico violated his client’s civil rights. Legal experts predict that Tahmooressi’s ordeal will continue for months.
Brown’s carefully orchestrated trip gave him a chance to inquire about Tahmooressi’s well-being and to make a case for his freedom. Brown is a Yale Law School graduate who could argue persuasively, albeit unofficially, on Tahmooressi’s behalf. Instead, like President Obama, Brown ignored Tahmooressi’s plight.
Of course, California wants to have a good relationship with Mexico and, for that matter, with its neighbor to the north, Canada. And yes, Mexico is California’s largest trading partner.
But these all-too-frequent photo-op sessions between sitting Mexican presidents and California governors always convey the troubling impression that Mexico’s wants and needs outweigh U.S. citizens’ best interests.